When I was a child, I never thought my parents would leave me. I always felt God would. Fundamentalism and hopelessness are irreparably fused together. When I stumbled upon piles of clothes in our house, I knew for sure that God took my parents and left me. On multiple occasions, I wept.
We started the hike behind a house. The desert is treacherous. Over and over, I felt the thorns press into my flesh. Pushing through, I was amazed at how disorienting the terrain grew. I had to pull out my phone multiple times just to see which direction we were going. Less than a mile in, we stumbled upon something left behind. The first backpack we encountered was black, muddy and torn to shreds. The pack once carried the hopes and dreams of a migrant. Were they able to unpack it before they left?
The mud got between my toes. I constantly looked out for snakes. I couldn’t imagine doing this journey in the dark. The pile of clothes sent me spiraling. Why was there this pile of clothes in the middle of the desert? Migrants believe that changing into nicer clothes will make them look less suspicious when they enter the city. A group of about ten changed and left these clothes behind. What happened to them after they changed?
I noticed a black item in the bushes. In order to reduce detection from the air, water bottles are painted black. Did someone take a last drink from this container?
The three crosses stood out. Items of remembrance encircled them. What were the last words the family said to each other? How could an entire family die this close to a house? Our greed killed them. How could we be so heartless?
The revelation hit me.
Jesus came in the form of these migrants.
We let love die in the desert.
We left God behind.